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EPCR statement: The Charles Ollivon red card hearing verdict

By Liam Heagney
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Former France skipper Charles Ollivon has been cleared to play for Toulon in their upcoming Challenge Cup final versus Glasgow in Dublin on May 19. The back-rower was red-carded in the early stages of his team’s semi-final win over Benetton last weekend, but he has now been cleared to play with immediate effect after the sending-off by referee Karl Dickson was overturned.

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A statement read: “The RC Toulon flanker, Charles Ollivon, has had the red card that was shown to him during his club’s EPCR Challenge Cup semi-final match against Benetton Rugby dismissed following an independent disciplinary hearing.

“Ollivon was sent off by the referee, Karl Dickson (England), in the seventh minute of the match at Stade Felix Mayol for tackling the Benetton full-back, Matteo Minozzi, in a dangerous manner in contravention of law 9.13.

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“An independent disciplinary committee comprising Jennifer Donovan (Ireland, chair), Martyn Wood (England) and Tony Wheat (Ireland) heard evidence and submissions from Ollivon, who did not accept the red card decision, from the RC Toulon sporting director, Laurent Emmanueli, and from the Toulon legal director, Cedric Rouhaud.

“In addition, submissions were heard from the EPCR disciplinary officer, Liam McTiernan, and the Toulon legal assistant, Sophie Magdziak, was also present during the hearing.

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“The committee accepted Ollivon’s contention that the level of danger of his tackle was not high, and it was decided that the red card should be dismissed. Ollivon is free to play and EPCR have the right to appeal the decision.”

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